This week’s London’s Notting Hill “carnival” – the nonwhite street party billed as Europe’s “largest festival” – has ended with 313 arrests, 31 police officers injured, numerous sex attacks, over 50 dangerous weapons seized, and acid attacks on police and bystanders, the Metropolitan Police have announced.
In an official press release issued by the Metropolitan Police, as of 11 pm on Monday, there had been “a total of 313 arrests at Notting Hill Carnival across both days” of the festival.
The breakdown of the arrests, the Metropolitan Police said, was as follows: “12 x assault on police, 1 x drink drive, 5 x criminal damage, 22 x public order offences, 50 x offensive weapon or pointed or bladed article, 5 x theft, 58 x drugs offences, 6 x sexual offences, 5 x [Grievous Bodily Harm] GBH, 6 x [Actual Bodily Harm] ABH and Common assault, 2 x psychoactive drugs offences’ [and] 19 x other offences.”
The statement added that officers had “also seized a number of weapons, including knives, CS spray, batons and a hammer during the two days” of the festival, which has taken place in London since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill.
The festival was started by Africans from the Carribean, and has now grown—along with London’s nonwhite population—into a violent melee which attracts over a million spectators and participants.
A statement released by the Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh said that police officers have been “attacked with blood, bottles and dangerous liquid at Notting Hill,” and that the attacks were growing more violent each year.
“How can we allow this to happen every year?,” Marsch asked, adding that officers had “potentially acidic substance thrown at them,” along with bottles and other objects—and even “having blood spat at them.”
Marsh’ statement—issued when the number of injured police officers only stood at 28, and not the 31 finally confirmed by the head of the police department, said that the “Met have put out a statement saying 28 of our colleagues were injured over the weekend at the Notting Hill Carnival. As almost a matter of fact. As if this is the norm. As if this is acceptable.
“It is none of the above. It is a disgrace. Twenty-eight brave colleagues went to work this weekend and were attacked for just doing their job. They have families, they have homes to go to. This is not normal. This is not acceptable.”
Marsh went on to say that there “are now so many officers being injured every year at the Carnival—with more than 40 last year and an officer stabbed in 2015—what other event would be allowed to carry on regardless with so many police colleagues under attack?”
He went in to say that the Metropolitan Police Service had to “take responsibility for this. A huge number of officers are getting attacked every year at this event. The service knows this is going to happen and send officers to this event knowing this is going to happen.
“The Metropolitan Police has a responsibility to look after the brave men and women who police London’s streets. To protect the protectors. Something needs to be done. We can’t carry on like this.”
Marsh said he would be taking the huge number of annual assaults on officers at the Carnival up with every level of the Met and the Mayor’s Office.
“Enough is enough,” he concluded. “Police officers are on the frontline facing this level of violence at the Notting Hill Carnival year on year. Politicians and commanding officers are quick with their platitudes and praise for our members but what we want to see are tangible measures to reduce the number of officers under attack.”
The Metropolitan Police Federation represents 32,000 officers in London.